The Asian Art Museum is one of the largest museums in the Western world devoted exclusively to Asian art. Its holdings include nearly 15,000 treasures spanning 6000 years of history, representing cultures throughout Asia. Renowned architect Gae Aulenti oversaw the dramatic transformation of the building: it now features 40,000 square feet (3716 square meters) of gallery space, allowing the museum to better fulfill its mission of leading a diverse global audience in discovering the unique material, aesthetic and intellectual achievements of Asian art and culture.
Developed by physicist Frank Oppenheimer and opened in 1969, this innovative and interactive museum is dedicated to art, science and human perception. Relocated from the Palace of Fine Arts to Piers 15 and 17, the modern space features plenty of new green technologies including the largest solar panel roof in San Francisco and offers over 600 hands-on exhibits. These hands-on displays unveil the mysteries of science and language, and present these theories simply and succinctly. Webinars, special events and seminars occur throughout the year. This San Francisco gem is a must visit.
The Legion of Honor houses more than 87,000 paintings, sculptures, decorative arts and tapestries. Some pieces date back 4000 years. The main floor is dedicated to the museum's permanent collection, much of which features the works of Rodin. European and ancient art are also on display at the Legion of Honor. The lower garden level features temporary exhibitions, ranging from Andy Warhol to Francis Bacon. Take a break in the museum cafe, which features light snacks and meals and has outdoor seating. The gift shop, though small, has a nice selection of postcards, books, posters, jewelry and some reproductions from this and other fine arts museums. Admission is free the first Tuesday of each month.
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art houses a permanent collection of over 15,000 works, including 4,700 paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and 9,000 photographs. Originally opened in 1995, the museum has exhibited the works of Henri Matisse, Richard Diebenkorn, Dorothea Lange, Paul Klee, Cindy Sherman, Matthew Barney and many contemporary artists. Designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta, the space itself is a wonder to behold. After a major renovation completed in 2016, the SFMOMA now boasts seven floors of art along with exciting new features including a living wall, sculpture garden and impressive views of Yerba Buena Gardens.
Located in Golden Gate Park, the California Academy of Sciences is one of the greenest buildings in the city and has a platinum certification from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). The museum features the newly renovated and expanded Steinhart Aquarium, complete with a hands-on tide pool and the well-known alligator swamp. Other exciting features are the Morrison Planetarium, the four-story rain-forest dome, and the Hall of African Mammals. In addition to these educational gems, the museum features other natural history exhibits as well as exhibits about global warming. The Academy Cafe offers international cuisine, while the elegant Moss Room restaurant is the only dining option available in the park past museum closing time.
Founded in 1984, the Contemporary Jewish Museum presents scholarly and artistic programs that explore the Jewish spirit and imagination. The museum offers contemporary views and Jewish perspectives on culture, history and art, with programs reflecting global ideas that tie to the past and remain relevant to all people today. World-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind was commissioned for the project. The 63,000 square foot museum provides a welcoming space where people from all backgrounds may encounter, celebrate and debate artistic forms of all varieties.
Delve into the rich and illustrious past of Tenderloin with a quick stop at the city’s Tenderloin Museum. A city icon since the year 2015, it was established to portray the neighborhood riveting history and heritage through exhibitions, events and various arts-based installations. Various exhibits at the museum share an insight about Tenderloin’s socio-cultural fabric, its long-standing political scenario and its thriving entertainment industry. Additionally, the museum also serves as a lively venue for literature readings, dance shows and musical concerts, thus emerging as a multi-faceted locale for the city’s community to engage and interact on various platforms.
Opened in 2008 Jessica Silverman Gallery houses some of the finest collection of contemporary art pieces. New and emerging artists can showcase their work here along with established and international artists. Many exhibitions are held here and the staff is very informative and knowledgeable.
Compiling data in the previous century before the digital age was a technique known to man as bookbinding. Printed pages were assembled to form a valuable book, hence to honor this method the American Bookbinders Museum was established. The museum houses various equipment and machines that were used to bind the books in the bygone era, a few books too have been kept on display. Purchase some merchandise at the museum shop in remembrance of your visit.
This non-profit center features some of the best contemporary art in the entire country! Featuring artwork from around the world, the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts has rotating exhibits and often hosts lectures. This center seeks to promote and expand contemporary art. For a real treat, make a reservation for a guided tour.
Young creativity is blossoming inside this space-age glass and metal cone. The Children's Creativity Museum is the place for budding kid and teen artists to hone their skills while also discovering new ones. Visual, media and performing artists are always on hand to interact with the museum's visitors. Children are encouraged to help with projects, including stop-motion animation, digital photography, and the cutting-edge, new media form of web casting. Do not miss the Charles Loof carousel (circa 1906); its hand-carved wooden animals have been restored to their original baroque perfection. There is also a theater on the premises used for various performances of different genres that stem outside the children's genre. This place is wonderful fun for the whole family.